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DoubleDragon-SM joint venture to operate 25 CityMalls by 2016

Posted on August 30, 2015 09:58:00 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
THE joint venture between DoubleDragon Properties Corp. and SM Group plans to have 25 operating CityMalls by next year -- accounting for a quarter of its targeted 100 branches over by 2020.

CityMall Commercial Centers, Inc. -- 66% owned by DoubleDragon and 34% by SM Investments Corp. -- already secured 32 sites for its community malls that will be spread across the country.

“Right now, we’re constructing 21 across the Philippines simultaneously, so we’re on-track. We still have five years to build,” Edgar “Injap” J. Sia, DoubleDragon chairman and chief executive officer, said on the sidelines of the company’s stockholders’ meeting in Makati City last week.

“We are looking at 25 operating CityMalls by next year. We intend to complete around 20 this year but it takes time to turnover to the tenants,” Mr. Sia added.

He explained that once opened, only 70% of the mall are usually occupied. It takes about two to four months to get it fully operational.

The first CityMall opened in Roxas City in Capiz last March. This was followed by another CityMall in Imus, Cavite -- the first in Luzon -- which opened earlier this month.

Two more malls are scheduled to be opened in the next two months, said Mr. Sia.

“We’re opening our first in Mindanao on Sept. 30,” the official said, noting that the mall will be located in Tetuan, Zamboanga City.

He added another mall will open on Oct. 10 in Iloilo and will be part of the five malls expected to be ready by the end of this year.

“We’ll know which ones will be able to catch up and be part of the 25 CityMalls that will be operational next year,” said Mr. Sia.

To build its 100-branch CityMall portfolio, the two companies earmarked P24 billion to accumulate 700,000 square meters of leasable space.

DoubleDragon is on course to reaching its P1-billion net income target by 2016 and P4.8-billion profit goal by 2020.

The company is a joint venture between Injap Investments, Inc. of Mr. Sia -- founder of Mang Inasal -- and Honeystars Holdings Corp. of Tony Tan Caktiong, chairman and founder of Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC).

Last week, the company signed an agreement with JFC for a new commercial and office tower within Ortigas Business District that will be called “Jollibee Tower.”

The building will rise on a 3,002 sq.m. prime property at the corner of F. Ortigas, Jr. Road (formerly Emerald Ave.) and Garnet Road.

Construction for the new tower starts in the fourth quarter of this year, while the company set 2018 as the target year for the project’s completion.

There are two other buildings within the Ortigas business district whose names sound alike: Jollibee Plaza also along F. Ortigas, Jr. and Jollibee Center along San Miguel Ave. -- Claire-
Ann Marie C. Feliciano

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